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Would you value this book in your language?

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 4

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Poll: Would you prefer to have my book in your own language?

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If you have a copy of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics, or are a potential reader, would you prefer it in your local language? I have always assumed that a local language is preferred. However, I ask because when translated, I lose editorial control of the text and screenshots, and that results in a degrade in book quality.

A recent Czech review of the book brought this to light (Google translate version)

Essentially the reviewer’s experience was not so positive as text descriptions did not relate to a number of Google Analytics screenshots. This happens as overseas publishers do not have (and cannot have) access to the same data that I do – and so cannot reproduce my images in a localised GA interface.

If the visitors to this blog are anything to go by, the geographic placement of readers is very diverse. Most people are from the US or UK but there are significant numbers from other parts of Europe, India, Middle East, and South America.

Geo location of visitors to this blog (Google Analytics)

Geographic locations of visitors to this blog
(75% using English)

This diversity is fantastic and was always my intention with the book. So I understand that reading it in your own language is important and beneficial. However, having put so much effort into the book any loss of quality concerns me…

To get the balance right, I wanted to ask for your help & feedback – particularly if English is not your first language (though all comments welcome) to better understand reader needs:

  • Is quality important to you? i.e. you would rather have the book content in English where I am responsible for the QA, or
  • Is it more important that the book is in your language with the odd screenshot not making sense?

Please provide your feedback and/or complete the poll. Remember this relates to the book, not this blog.

 

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Comments

  1. Arthur says:

    Hello Brian,

    Don’t worry, in terms of understanding what you read, the maths part is far less important than the technicality and the name of metrics/reports which can be really different from one language to another..

    I think it’d be better if you could recruit some local GA experts for the translation, but if you can’t, you should at least set the following rule: translators should have to find the metric/report in English and then find the same metric/report in the localized version of GA and use it in the translation.

    Hope this helps,
    Arthur

  2. Arthur/Timo: thanks for your feedback. What concerns me is that you both refer to the difficulty in reading mathematics in a foreign language. There is no mathematics in the book – other than a brief explanation of how the arithmetic mean is used in web analytics.

    May be I should change the title of the book…? It certainly is not intended to come across as a maths lesson…! Quite the opposite… damn…

    The issue for me, is that if there is complex scenario to describe, then the translators are not web analytics/usability experts and may mis the understanding. However I take on board that 80-90% understanding is better than not reading it at all if its not in your own language…

  3. Timo says:

    Hi Brian,

    As a ntaive German that studied in Australia and now lives and works in Australia I bought an English copy of the book. However, if I hadn’t moved my residency to Australia I would prefer a German copy any time of the day for the very reasons Arthur mentioned before me.

    For people that come from a non-English speaking background )and that usually don’t speak any English) it is almost impossible to understand vocabulary that requires specific knowledge of certain areas such as maths. For these people, a book that brings 80% to 90% of the original content across is better than not understanding most of the original. Even if they start the book they will, in my opinion, abandon it very soon

    Thanks,
    Timo

  4. Arthur says:

    Hello,

    Although I can read English and understand it rather well, I know that most of the time a French (that’s where I’m from) version – if well translated – will carry more useful information:

    – English names for some reports and metrics are really different from their French version

    – Some technical or mathematical explanations often require a real knowledge of these fields in the English tongue, and will already be hard to grasp when translated into French 😉

    Anyway, I don’t own a copy of the book but I have been able to read it by bits in my previous job: I think it’s rather clear and well-organized so that anyone can find whatever info one’s looking for.

    The thing that scares me most is its short life expectancy, considering the numerous improvements made by the Google teams month after month…

    Thanks for your precious advice and information,
    Arthur

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